Southern Wesleyan University, an evangelical Christian institution located in the town of Central, South Carolina, welcomes applications and nominations in the search for its next Vice President of Finance and Business Administration/Chief Financial Officer.
The Institution: Founded in 1906, Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) embraces its mission: “...to serve as a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ.” SWU abides by the belief that every individual has a God-given purpose, brought to fruition by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit and the challenge of scholarship. This belief is manifested in SWU’s Four Outcomes:
Biblical Faithfulness – Regardless of the blowing winds of society’s cultural trends and secular philosophies, faithfulness to God’s Word must be the foundation, the center, and the goal of all Christian higher education. At SWU this means both allegiance to God and submission to Scripture.
Academic Rigor – We pursue wisdom that begins with the fear of the LORD (e.g., Prov. 9:1). We teach our students to think critically and Christianly. Rigor means, regardless of ability, we come alongside students and challenge them to love God with all their mind.
Vocational Effectiveness – We graduate students who succeed in the workplace and graduate school. We equip them in the classroom, through on- and off-campus experiences, mentoring, and internships. More than 90% of SWU graduates express satisfaction in their vocational and educational preparation over five, ten, and fifteen years.
Financial Sustainability – Too many students face insurmountable college debt. A SWU education must be affordable for students and sustainable for our university in the long-term.
In summary, SWU is committed to graduating students who love Jesus, who think critically, who are employable, and who are not in crippling debt.
Southern Wesleyan University, as one of five colleges/universities operated by The Wesleyan Church, has historically held a high view of Scriptural authority, while affirming denominational distinctions such as racial and gender equality. The Wesleyan dynamic of holiness—personal piety and social justice expressed as love for God and others—is also foundational to the mission of the University. The next Vice President will demonstrate a Wesleyan ethos aligned with this view of Scriptural authority and holiness.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SWU serves nearly 1,100 students in approximately 40 areas of study, which include both undergraduate and graduate programs. The main campus consists of 350 beautiful acres in the town of Central, South Carolina, and offers students access to high-quality learning and living facilities, many of which are newly constructed or recently renovated. The University employs 45 full-time faculty members and boasts a robust offering of online degrees in addition to its on-campus offerings. It also offers 12 men’s and women’s sports programs, enjoys dual membership in the NCAA Division II and the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association), and, since 2007, it has won 17 NCCAA national championships. For more information about the University, please visit https://www.swu.edu and/or view the search prospectus.
The Position: Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President of Finance and Business Administration serves as the chief financial officer of the university and is a member of the President’s senior leadership team and cabinet. The Vice President of Finance and Business Administration has primary responsibility for the management of business and financial affairs and planning, accounting, payroll operations, university benefits and health care, the university budget, the acquisition or construction of real property, relationships with financial institutions, external audits, receipt and disbursements of funds, investments, inventory and equipment control, compliance with federal and state agencies, and risk management. The Vice President is also responsible for other areas including student accounts, human resources, the business office, maintenance and grounds operations, and food service and other contracts. Other primary responsibilities include the following: advise the President and Cabinet regarding financial and operational management policies and procedures; serve as a liaison and creative asset to the Finance and Investment Committee of the Board; provide effective administrative innovation to plan, implement, review, and grow the financial operations of the university in compliance with, and in support of, the university mission and strategic plan; assist the President and senior leadership in the formation of a financial strategic plan for the University and in evaluating the impacts of future financial strategy. Additionally, the Vice President will represent the University with appropriate external agencies and organizations; participate on University committees; hire, train, evaluate, and support a diverse team of professionals who report to this position as well as assert a continuous improvement environment; work collaboratively with the President and the Vice President for Advancement in fund-raising, investment management, and donor reporting; provide leadership and creative ideas for the oversight and coordination of payroll and benefits policies and procedures; assist the President and other administrators in gathering, collating, and analyzing data relative to enrollment impact, financial operations, and reporting requirements of the University; prepare financial predictive tools and creatively help the University reach new goals for construction and expansion of the campus and online delivery systems; contribute to problem-solving and innovation university-wide, offering support and ideas to Cabinet colleagues and their teams; and contribute fully in the strategic plan implementation.
Qualifications: The Vice President of Finance and Business Administration will have a personal and seasoned relationship with Christ and provide evidence of ongoing spiritual growth and conviction. He or she will also demonstrate deeply held commitments consistent with the University’s mission and values and a lifestyle characterized by holiness and servanthood. The successful candidate will also possess significant, advanced experience and skill in the areas of financial administration and accounting along with knowledge of a variety of operational auxiliary and business-related functions. The Vice President will relate and work effectively with people and have a high level of integrity, ethics, and the ability to lead and coordinate the effective management of complex programs and enterprises. The successful candidate will have experience with strategic leadership in an environment of shared governance involving multiple stakeholders. The Vice President will also have demonstrated ability in clear, effective communication with diverse constituencies. A master’s degree is preferred with CPA certification desirable.
The University is a Christian liberal arts institution in the Wesleyan-Holiness theological tradition. In light of SWU’s unapologetically Christ-centered mission, all employees are expected to embrace the university’s Statement of Faith, respect its Wesleyan heritage, and adhere to its lifestyle expectations.
Location: Central, South Carolina, is a town of 5,000 situated in the northwest part of the state, in the nearly 1 million resident Greenville Metropolitan Area. The region sits along the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and lakes. Residents also enjoy an exceptional quality of life and a vibrant arts and culture scene, complete with diverse dining options, visual and performing arts venues, and lively annual festivals. Greenville, a vibrant and growing city, is only 30 miles away, and other great cities of the Southeast, including Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte, are close enough for day trips. Also worth visiting is South Carolina’s beautiful coastline, which includes the historic city of Charleston, beautiful Hilton Head Island, and lively Myrtle Beach.
Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at SouthernWesleyanCFO@rpainc.org. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Jim Barnes, Senior Consultant, or Isaac Karaffa, Vice President and Senior Consultant, at the email address above. While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, please apply by September 6, 2023. The selected candidate will be required to sign the University’s Doctrinal Statement and Community Expectations forms upon hire.
It is the policy of Southern Wesleyan University to provide and maintain equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions (including but not limited to lactation), disability, genetic information, veteran status, age, or any other classification protected by state, federal, or local law, unless a bona fide occupational qualification applies. The University reserves its right to operate as a church-related institution and to develop policies consistent with the religious tenets of its sponsoring denomination, The Wesleyan Church, and is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees on the basis of religion (Title VII, Section 702-703, United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended).
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (amending the Higher Education Act of 1965) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence and other forms of nonconsensual sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited under this law. Southern Wesleyan University is fully committed to the Biblical Standard of sexual integrity as defined and practiced by The Wesleyan Church. At no time should any discussion of sexual behaviors be construed as endorsement of inappropriate sexual activity. For more information, visit SWU’s Title IX page.